CYPRUS has been ranked 18th in a new survey which ranks nations according to their contribution to humanity and the planet. Ireland was first.
The Good Country Index is the brainchild of respected policy adviser Simon Anholt, and combines 35 separate indicators from the United Nations, the World Bank and other international institutions, and ranks countries accordingly.
Anholt said he hopes it will transform the way countries do business by encouraging them to think about the global impact of their actions, rather than cut throat self interest.
“The idea of the Good Country Index is pretty simple; to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away.
“Using a wide range of data from the UN and other international organisations, we’ve given each country a balance-sheet to show at a glance whether it’s a net creditor to mankind, a burden on the planet, or something in between.”
The list looked at the size of a country’s economy, and then assessed its global contributions to science and technology, culture, international peace and security, world order, the planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and the health and well-being of humanity.
Cyprus came third out of 125 countries for its contribution to science and technology, which takes into consideration the number of foreign students studying in the country, the export of periodicals, scientific journals and newspapers, the number of articles published in international journals, the number of Nobel prize winners and the number of International Patent Cooperation Treaty applications all relative to the country’s GDP
It came 35th for culture and 86th for its contribution to international peace and security. For world order the island came 21st and 22nd for its contribution to the planet and its climate. In terms of prosperity and equality, Cyprus came 37th and for health and well-being 49th.
Anholt said the survey was not designed to name and shame and make moral judgements about countries, but to recognise the importance of contributing to the greater good in a globalised society.
He hopes it will spark debate about what the purpose of a country is. “Do they exist purely to serve the interests of their own politicians, businesses and citizens, or are they actively working for all of humanity and the whole planet?
“The debate is a critical one, because if the first answer is the correct one, we’re all in deep trouble.”
Anholt called for countries to stop behaving “as if they are islands”. He said: “The whole world is connected as never before, yet we still treat countries as if each one was located on its own private planet.
“It’s time countries started thinking much harder about the international consequences of their actions; if they don’t, the global challenges like climate change, poverty, economic crises, terrorism, drugs and pandemics will only get worse.”
While Ireland topped the poll, the Nordic region makes a collective contribution to humanity and the planet which far outstrips any other part of the world.
The United States came 21st in a ranking that was dragged down by poor scores on international peace and security.
Nine of the top 10 countries are in Western Europe, making it by far the “goodest” part of the world.
War-torn Iraq, Libya and Vietnam came joint bottom of the pioneering new survey, which has compiled its results for the first time this year.